A Japanese fan-artist has been subjected to harassment and accusations of racism due to a lighting choice on a drawing of the recently announced Pokémon character Nessa which slightly lightened the tone of her skin color.

On June 13, artist najuco shared an image they had drawn of the Pokémon Sword and Shield Water-type Gym Leader to their personal Twitter page. For the drawing, najuco chose a softer, muted palette choice for Nessa, resulting in a stylistic and colorful piece which deviated slightly from the colors displayed in her official artworks:

The image quickly gained traction among najuco’s almost 60,000 Twitter followers and once the piece was fully circulating across social media, najuco’s post was quickly descended upon by users accusing najuco of white washing and racism:

One particular user, in a series of now deleted Tweets, claimed to “fix” najuco’s art by darkening Nessa’s skin color (a half-hearted attempt, as the user applies a simple darkening layer to the image rather than utilizing any sort of color theory or artistic effort) and, when asked by najuco to delete the post due to najuco’s policy on reposting their art, the user claimed to be “within [her] right] to put najuco “in [their] place:

Following this edit, najuco reached out directly to the user, only to be met with a non-apology and a lecture before coming to an agreement which resulted in the deletion of the post claiming to have “fixed” the artwork.

However, it was abundantly clear that most users were disgusted with the insults and vitriol being directed towards najuco, as a significantly larger set of respondents to najuco’s piece are overwhelmingly positive and supportive:

What do you think about najuco’s art? Do you think it was white-washed?

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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